Grand Prize Winner
Zachery Jenks-Western, a 17 year old Owosso resident, is the Grand Prize winner of the 22nd annual Curwood Festival Saga Contest. Zachery is the son of Michelle Bradley and Lyle Western, and he is a senior at Owosso High School.
A 1st place winner in the senior division of the 2011 contest, Zachery won the top prize this year with his short story, "Collateral Damage: Innocence Lost." A panel of five judges deemed his entry the most creative and the best-written from a field of 360 stories, the most entries ever submitted to the short story writing contest. Zachery will receive a Kindle Fire and a $50.00 Amazon gift card.
Zachery plans to attend Winter Park, Florida's Full Sail University next year where he will study game design. His program of study will include storytelling and video-making. When he was notified of his win, Zachery commented, "I would like to give a special thank you to Ms. (Mary) Harper and Ms. (Kate) Keating, (two of his Owosso High School English teachers), my mother, and Jamie Lynn Sharp, all for supporting me."
More Information about the Saga Contest
All seventeen short stories will be published on the web sites of both the Argus-Press and Independent newspapers. The public is invited to read any or all of these stories which will appear in late April.
The contest entrants represented 18 public and private schools in addition to several home schools in Shiawassee County and the Ovid-Elsie and Chesaning areas. Forty-five stories were submitted in the senior division; 171 in the junior division; and 144 in the elementary division. The total of 360 stories nearly triples the amount of entries in recent years. Glenda Caszatt, chairman of the Saga Contest, commented, "The judges were pleasantly surprised by the quantity of entries but they also were delighted to find that the quality of writing proved to be outstanding as well."
Amanda Hickmott, an Owosso Bryant Elementary School student, is the 1st place winner in the elementary division (4th and 5th grades). Her parents are Kenneth and Phyllis Hickmott of Owosso. Amanda, 10 years old, will be awarded a Kindle Touch for her story, "A Robin's Tale."
The elementary 2nd place prize goes to Joseph Duckert of St. Johns who wrote "A Dog and a Dream." Joseph is 10 years old and the son of Tim and Marsha Duckert. He attends Ovid-Elsie's E.E. Knight Elementary School.
Sarah Taylor, 13 years old and from Owosso, is the 1st place winner in the junior division (6th-8th grades). Sarah is the daughter of Susan Wood, and she attends Perry Middle School. Her story is entitled "Unearthly."
Second place in the junior division was awarded to 13 year old Sarah Kilbreath for her story, "My Battles." Sarah, the daughter of Jacquelyn Kilbreath, attends Owosso Middle School.
Janae Hurd, 15 years old, earned 1st place in the senior division (9th-12th grades). Janae is the daughter of Dave Hurd and Kim Whisman, and she is a student at Owosso High School. Her story is "Astoria's Trial."
The senior division 2nd place prize goes to Hayley West. Hayley, 14 years old, attends Perry High School, and she is the daughter of Phillip and Lorraine West of Perry. She won with her entry, "Portal."
All 1st place winners will receive a Kindle Touch and all 2nd place winners will receive a $75 check. The prizes are awarded through the generosity of donors to the Saga Contest. This year's donors are Dr. Kurt Aurand, Trust Thermal Abatement, and Cordier Excavating.
The seven winners will be recognized and receive their awards at the Curwood Festival's April 11 Board of Directors' meeting which takes place at 6:30 in Owosso's City Hall. The winners also will be invited to participate in the 2012 Curwood Heritage Parade on Saturday, June 9.
Ten students were awarded honorable mentions. Owosso bookstore Books & Beans has donated ten $10.00 gift certificates for the stories that made it through all but the final elimination. These honorable mention winners are: